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Sciades herzbergii (Bloch, 1794)

Image contributors to this species:

Cecile de Souza Gama (1) The Photographer (1) The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (1)

ScotCat Sources:


Other Sources:

Fishbase  Google Search  All Catfish Species Inventory  Catalog of Fishes


Relevant Information:

This species may be confused with Sciades couma, although it is much more frequent than S. couma. Adults occur in turbid estuaries, mangrove-lined lagoons and lower parts of rivers being very tolerant to changes in salinity. Found on shallow soft bottoms. Feed on a large variety of bottom-living and pelagic organisms including those found among the roots of mangroves. Reproduction occurs between September and December. A female lays 20-30 eggs, with a diameter of 10-12 mm. Males incubate the eggs in their mouth. Females reach maturity at a younger age than males and grow faster. The male incubates 28-40 eggs in the mouth and 200-400 eggs that are fixed in a glutinous mass on its head. Incubation takes 10-12 days. After 50-60 days fully functional young (6-6.5 cm TL) are released. Aquarium Care: Grows too large for the home aquarium. Remarks: This species is widely distributed and can be very common. It is targeted species in artisanal fisheries, principally in the north and northeast of Brazil. It may be susceptible to habitat loss in mangrove, estuarine areas. At present neither habitat loss or fishing pressure is considered a major threat to this species. It is listed as Least Concern with a recommendation to monitor its fished population and study its life history.

Common Name:

Pemecou sea catfish


Arius herzbergii, Bagrus coelestinus, Bagrus mesops, Bagrus pemecus, Hexanematichthys herzbergii, Netuma dubia, Pimelodus argenteus, Selenaspis herzbergii, Silurus herzbergii


Ariidae mblycipitidae


South America: Caribbean and Atlantic draining rivers and estuaries from Colombia to Brazil: Brazil, Colombia, French Guiana, Guyana, Suriname and Venezuela. Habitat: brackish, marine.


57cm. TL (22½ins)


22-26°c (71-79°f )




Chacon, J.O., M.I.M. Alves and M.S.C. de Mesquita, 1994. Alguns aspectos da reprodução do bagre branco, Selenapsis herzbergii (Bloch 1794), Pisces: Ostariophysi, Siluriformes, Ariidae. Bol. Tec. DNOCS. 47/52(1/2):43-78.
Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors. 2015.FishBase. World Wide Web electronic publication. www.fishbase.org, ( 08/2016 )
Betancur, R., Marceniuk, A.P., Giarrizzo, T. & Fredou, F.L. 2015. Sciades herzbergii. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T190245A1945803. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2015-2.RLTS.T190245A1945803.en



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